FRIDAY FEAST with Melanie Scott

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Oh, we have special treat on Friday Feast today. A brilliant book, a super giveaway and a recipe that was so mouth-watering I had to whip it up as soon as I saw it.

But more on that shortly because I just know you’re hanging out for Sydney Swans news. After a most excellent win on the weekend, only a tiny percentage separates us from those pesky (pecky?) Hawks at the top of the ladder. Give it time. We can still overtake them and win Author Melanie Scottthat coveted spot. I have faith!

Sadly, there is no Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news because I was too busy hangin’ with my tribe at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, which was brilliant even if I still haven’t recovered my voice. Jim says it’s because I put an entire year’s worth of talking into four days. Perhaps a sign I should get out more…

And now to today’s guest. You may know her as dark fantasy author MJ Scott, but Melbourne based Melanie Scott is about to take the sports romance world by storm with her new series featuring the New York Saints baseball team and the three men determined to save it. The first in the series is The Devil in Denim, a book I’m reading, and loving, right now.

You will want this baby. Oh yes you will!

THE DEVIL IN DENIM

Cover of The Devil in DenimLIFE JUST THREW HER A CURVEBALL.

As the team-owner’s daughter, Maggie Jameson grew up in the New York Saints’ stadium—glove, cap, hot dogs, and all. Baseball’s in her blood, and she’s always dreamed of the day when she would lead the Saints to victory herself. That was before her dad had to sell the team to Alex Winters. The fast-talking, fiercely attractive businessman has a baseball pedigree that’s distinctly minor league. Maggie wants to hate him but his skills of seduction, however, are off the charts.

WILL LOVE BE A HOME RUN?

Alex could never have imagined how much this team means to Maggie. He needs her to help show the players that they’re still a family…even if he and Maggie are at the verge of exchanging blows. But her fiery determination and gorgeous looks prove irresistible to Alex. And much as he wants to relegate their relationship to the playing field—and get the Saints back in the game—Alex just can’t help himself: What he wants to win most is Maggie’s heart…

There are some shallow people out there who would only buy this book for the taut manbum cover (me!) but I can assure you what’s on the inside is even better. Yes it is! And you can pre-order it right now and have it in your hands, all ready for stroking and reading, right on its August 26th release day. Secure your copy now via Amazon, Book Depository, iBooks, Booktopia, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo or your favourite retailer.

Taut manbum organised? Awesome. Now let’s get zesty with Melanie.

Sweet or Sour

You know those questions on quizzes? The ones that ask you if you like salty or sweet. I’m always thinking “Both”. Life’s too short to choose between the joys of the perfect salty potato chip or good rich chocolate. And one thing that those quizzes always fail to ask about is sour! I will confess I like a good sour sharp tang. If it was possible to overdose on Wizz Fizz as a A packet of Wizz Fizzkid, I would have (and these days I find it hard to resist a good sour lolly). But, growing up in the country, we always had a lemon tree and, luckily for me, my parents still live there and still have a magic pudding lemon tree that rarely stops fruiting so they can keep me supplied. Lemon delicious pudding, lemon juice on crispy fish or fresh steamed vegies, lemon butter, lemon tart (unless there’s a lemon cheesecake on offer), lemon in iced water and of course my beloved margaritas, well, let’s just say I’m a fan of the little yellow fruit. Here in Australia, lemon slice popped up all over the place when I was a kid and I’m always on the quest for a good version (and generally I amp up the tanginess with an extra lemon kick), well, frankly, sometimes a gal just can’t wait for a slice to set to get her lemon goodness fix.

The other day I was in the mood to bake, which often inspires a brownie fit, but I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate (who knew that was possible). Having attempted a lemon drizzle cake recently that was good but needs some more experimenting with, I was still in the mood for lemons but didn’t want a cake. I thought of lemon slice but then I stumbled across a lemon and coconut brownie on Pinterest. Pinterest is baker enabling heaven. It was lemon. It was coconut. It was a brownie. I was sold. And it turns out a lemon coconut brownie is very much the love child of lemon cake and lemon slice. Aka it was exactly what I was in the mood for. And delicious.

Now Maggie Jameson, the heroine of The Devil in Denim, feels like she’s been handed a pretty big box of lemons at the start of the book. She needs to figure out if she can wants to suck it up and make lemonade (though she starts the process by using lemons in a time honoured way… by drinking too many tequila slammers) or not. Maybe while she’s thinking about it, and trying not to think about Alex Winters, who is partially responsible for her pile of lemons, she should whip up a batch of these bad boys. I’m sure they’d cheer her up.

Lemon and Coconut Brownies

(original recipe from taste.com.au)

Lemon and Coconut Brownies

Ingredients:

250g butter

2 cups caster sugar

4 eggs

1 ½ cups plain flour

1 cup desiccated coconut

3 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1/3 cup if you like it really lemony like me) plus extra for icing if you ice them

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180ºC (my over is fan forced and I used 170c). Line a 20 x 30cm (base measurement) slab pan with non-stick baking paper. Whatever you use for brownies. I was lazy and used a square pan that was a little too small so they came out thicker and needed a bit longer cooking but they were still yummy

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat down low. Stir in sugar until it dissolves. Turn off heat and move to a cool spot. Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat into the mixture quickly so no bits of egg cook before it’s combined. It will end up thick and glossy.

Sift the flour over the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in coconut, lemon rind and lemon juice. Spread over base of prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Turn out and cut into pieces (you decide how big, the original recipe suggests 15). Doesn’t need to iced but would be lovely with a thin lemony icing made from icing sugar and lemon juice…I usually start with a cup of icing sugar and add a tablespoon or so of lemon juice and then adjust the mixture to taste and for consistency when I’m making that kind of icing. Keep in an airtight container if there are any left.

 

Doesn’t that make your mouth water, Feasters? As it should because like The Devil in Denim, these brownies are delicious! Impossible to stop at one piece. Why would you want to anyway? There’s fruit in there which means the recipe has to be good for you.

And guess what other goodness Melanie has for you? Yes, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

Because you’re all special and Melanie is lovely, she’s offering one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of his devilish bumness… I mean, The Devil In Denim. A truly excellent read that you will love. But you must work for it. You must shaaaaare!

So, for a chance to win, tell us what do you prefer when you’re reaching for a treat? Sweet, sour, salty or a combination?

Are you a sour fan and love to gobble sour snakes and mouth puckering lemon drops? Perhaps you prefer a salty bowl of chips or nuts, or maybe sweet treats are your go, lollies or sweet cakes and biscuits. For me it depends. There’s nothing quite like a nice dark piece of chocolate post dinner but I have been known to turn slightly rabid over a bowl of salt and vinegar chips (those Red Rock Deli ones are awesome). What about you? Share and we’ll pop you into the draw.

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 19th August 2014. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Melanie and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @melscott.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Delores who has won a copy of Melanie’s new release The Devil in Denim. I predict some fun reading and cover stroking in someone’s future! Thanks to everyone for sharing their favourite sweet and sour treats, and giving us all terrible cravings. See you again soon!

33 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Melanie Scott

  1. AvatarHelen

    Hi Melanie and Cathryn

    Love that one and the cover of this book and of course I am looking forward to reading it as well

    I enjoy sweet and salty depends on my mood lol I have just been eating cadbury picnic chocolate so yummy and there are times a packet of chips is what I crave and. Do love lemon anything 🙂 🙂

    Congrats on the new book

    Have Fun
    Helen

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Picnics? They are terrible things, Helen. TERRIBLE! All that caramel and wafer and chocolate and nuts… I mean, how is a girl supposed to stop at ONE?

      The Devil in Denim is fab. You’ll love it. I am!

  2. AvatarMelanie

    Hi Helen
    I love a good potato chip too. Usually I go for salt and vinegar though cheese and onion or chicken are also faves. And the Red Rock Deli Lime and Black Pepper. My chocolate fave is Lindt Mint Intense, I think…it varies 😀

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      No, no, Mel. Red Rock Balsamic and Sea Salt!!!! An oldie but one they do awesomely. Love those chips. Really wish they weren’t so bad for me…

  3. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi Melanie and Cathryn,

    Yep I too enjoy sweet, sour and salty. I must say I do love the The Natural Confectionary Co. sour worms, I love how they make my mouth feel lol. But anything they make is pretty yum, the milk bottles, jelly babies and of course the snakes. Samboy used to make the best salt and vinegar chips but now the ingredients just make me shiver. I always try to look at healthier options except for when it comes to chocolate hee hee.

    Mum has a fantastic lemon tree in her front yard, so we’re never short of lemons either. From those lemons my sister made the best lemon meringue cake ever.

    Love the cover of the book and what a great title!

    1. AvatarMelanie

      Oooh, lemon meringue pie. Now you’re talking. With meringue that’s just the right mix of soft and chewy….you’ve made me want dessert, Sue!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Luuuurve lemon meringue pie! Great choice, Sue. Sour worms are tasty little things too. I used to have them as my golf lolly before we swapped to much healthier trail mix. They put a bit of zip in my swing. Probably why my handicap was so high…

  4. AvatarTanya Berglund

    I would love to read a book written by you.. Rachael Johns speaks highly of you and her word is a s good as gold.. Thanks for the recipe too. Vivid Nightly reader,
    Tanya

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Aww, thanks Tanya! Rach is a good buddy of mine so she might be a bit biased!!

      Tanya, this week’s Friday Feast giveaway is for Melanie’s FABULOUS sports romance The Devil in Denim. I’m loving this read. We can pop you in the draw for that, if you like. I don’t have any giveaways running for my books right at the moment, but keep your eye on this blog and on my Facebook page. There might be things happening over the next week or two…

      1. AvatarTanya Berglund

        That would be great.. and also some feedback, we tried samples recently of Wizz Fizz and it was a big hit with my kids.. bought a couple of packets… keep your eye out for the golden spoon.. Love the cover on the book The Devil in Denim .. very nice. Have a great weekend all.

        Tanya

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Red Rock Deli chips in particular, Lynn! Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar… mmmmm!

      Good luck in the draw. The Devil in Denim was a fab read. Loved it.

  5. AvatarKathy Gallagher

    I love the salty taste. I am so looking forward to reading this book, I love sexy bums.
    Thank you Kathy.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        It’s a very tasty bum indeed! But having read The Devil in Denim, I can promise what’s beneath that bum is fabulous too.

        With you on the chips thing, Mel. It’s taken a lot of willpower since Friday to not buy a big pack and scoff them.

        Good luck in the draw, Kathy!

  6. AvatarDelores Bebbington

    For myself, it has always been savoury and salt, at the moment it’s Tamari roasted almonds and they are seriously addictive. Now all I need is some lemon water to wash it down and ‘The Devil in Denim’ to read.! Thanks for the opportunity Cathryn.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I haven’t tried tamari roasted nuts either, Delores. But I’m intrigued. That’s the Japanese soy, isn’t it? I bet they’re seriously tasty. Will keep my eye out for some this weekend when I go shopping. Love trying new things.

        Good luck!

  7. AvatarEmma-Jayne Hansen

    Looking forward to another great read.

    I can never go past Peanut MnM’s or freshly popped popcorn with salt.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, ooh! Popcorn! I haven’t had that for ages, Emma-Jayne. We used to love popping corn as kids and then smothering them in home-made caramel to make our own version of Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs!

      Thanks so much for playing along on Friday Feast. Good luck in the Devil draw!

    2. AvatarMelanie

      Hi Emma-Jayne

      Popcorn is definitely a fave. I have an air popper at home which frequently gets a work out. But when I’m being a bit naughtier, I love kettle style corn that is sweet and salty…why pick just one 🙂 And peanut M&Ms are sooo good. Peanut and chocolate is such a good combo. It’s that sweet and salty thing again!

  8. AvatarJenny Wright

    I looking forward to finding and reading your book Promises…and will keep an eye out for Melanies book too.

    And sweet treats are mine….but also love a packet of chips too….I must be sweet and sour 🙂

  9. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    Our super scrumptious Devil in Denim giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Delores who is in for some very fun reading.
    Thanks to everyone for sharing their sweet and sour treats. Mel and I have terrible chip cravings now!

    1. AvatarDelores Bebbington

      Wow! I can’t believe it. Thank you so much Cathryn. I am absolutely thrilled to have won. I am such a bookaholic I can just see my husband raising his eyebrows when I tell him! Cheers Delores.

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